Winter 2018


One of the first places we visited was an astronomy park called Jantar Mantar. It's an observatory with old, traditional instruments used for telling time and predicting the positions of the planets and stars. It blew my mind to see the innovations of the era and the creative ways that people came up with to measure time. The giant sundial impressed me the most, and I was amazed by how accurately it could determine the time down to the second. I stood there watching the shadow of the sun move along the indicators, and when I squinted hard, I could actually see the shadow moving along the stone. It was almost like I was indirectly watching the sun move across the sky.

Next, we visited the City Palace, which was located in the center of the city. Despite being relatively close by, it took us almost an hour to get there because of the insane traffic. The palace itself was huge, brimming with culture and tradition. We also visited the Amber Fortress, which was another massive palace located a bit further away from the city. As I explored the palace, I tried to imagine what it must have been like when it was actually being used by the royal family, instead of being a tourist attraction. These kinds of questions always pique my curiosity because I'll never truly understand what it was like to live in a palace like this.

Later that afternoon, we went to Elephant Joy, where we got to ride elephants around a field. It was extremely fun, even if we were just going in circles. Afterward, we painted, washed, and fed them. It was amazing to see how majestic and calm the elephants were. The elephants seemed to really enjoy our time together as well, smiling as I was feeding them bananas. At first, sticking my hand into their huge mouths was a little scary, but in the end, I embraced their huge, slobbering tongues.